lfb.org / By Douglas French /
You remember when Hostess declared bankruptcy last November? There were outcries that the iconic snack pastry would be gone forever. Speculators began to stockpile the tasty treats
As Zero Hedge documented, eBay featured the following items:
- For a price of $89.95, three boxes of SEALED Box of Hostess Chocodiles 3×10 Chocolate Twinkies
- For a price of $99.99, four boxes of SEALED Box of Hostess Chocodiles 4×10 Chocolate Twinkies
- For a starting bid of $500, one Box of Twinkies; Unopened
- For a starting bid of $10, and a price of $595, a box of 10, opened and half-eaten
- For a starting bid of $5,000, a single Twinkie
- And finally, for a starting bid of $10,000 … a box of Twinkies (“one of the last boxes that will be available, its seller helpfully notes, before the Zombie Apocalypse”)
Even now, there’s a rotting Twinkie for sale on eBay. Supposedly, Twinkies will remain edible for decades, even outliving their cellophane wrappers (or so goes the mythology).
The belief was that unyielding union workers could make the Twinkie vanish. But that’s not how real capitalism works. However, we understand the confusion. In this bailout economy, whenever an enterprise is on the rocks, the workers cry out to their political friends that the employer must be saved or the jobs and products will be lost for good.
The government and media preached that not only would General Motors and Chrysler perish if the taxpayer didn’t step in, but all of the suppliers would be gone as well. Millions would lose their good, high-paying jobs. The Center for Automotive Research, a Michigan think tank, estimates that the bailout saved 1.5 million U.S. jobs by keeping GM and Chrysler, and the companies that depended on them, in business.
Uncle Sam shoveled $80 billion to the automakers, some of which has been paid back through a GM IPO. The taxpayers still own a slug of Government Motors and will be made whole only if or when the shares reach $51 (currently trading at $28). Chrysler still owes $1.3 billion.